To Roll or Not To Roll?

To Roll or Not To Roll? 

Have you ever wondered if you should roll before a workout or after a workout? What exactly does rolling do? Let’s go over some of the basics.  Foam rolling helps to lengthen a muscle, increase elasticity, increase blood flow, release tension, helps loosen fascia, (fascia is the tissue that encases the muscles), relieve soreness and can improve flexibility and range of motion.  As we age, the fascia tightens.  Stretching alone does not always loosen the fascia.  The foam roller is like massaging the fascia/muscles. 

You can use the roller pre-workout, post workout and when you have sore muscles.

The areas to use the roller are the legs (front & back), glutes, arms, upper & lower back, sides or anywhere you have muscles.  The diagram below gives you some ideas of how and where to use a roller.  You begin on the ground, either lying down or sitting and then start to move the roller.  When you find a sensitive spot hold it there for at least 30 seconds. Take deep breaths while holding the roller at the sensitive area.

What kind of roller is best?  My personal favorite is one by the name of Rollga.  (See the diagram) It’s shaped so you get more muscle tissue rather than bony areas. I have the standard one. You even have many colors to choose from.

 Rollga also has a free app you can download that goes through proper usage.